It's been an insane afternoon in the NHL, so here's a summary. None of these have been doctored or Photoshopped by me.
Trade is one for one: Adam Larsson for Taylor Hall.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 29, 2016
Confirming the PK Subban blockbuster: traded to Nashville for Shea Weber.— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) June 29, 2016
Cancel the Stamkos Sweepstakes, he has decided to return to the Tampa Bay Lightning. #TSN— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 29, 2016
That's a lot to digest and it's going to probably take months. So I'll just jump to the central question you're probably asking yourself: Couldn't the Islanders have gotten Taylor Hall?
Yes. The answer is yes.
As for Hall, #Isles didn't offer what EDM wanted, which was Hamonic. Plain and simple.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) June 29, 2016
Back when Travis Hamonic made his trade request to Western Canada to be closer to his family, the Oilers - residing in Western Canada and in desperate need for defense since trading Chris Pronger in 2006 - seemed like a natural fit. Hall, their most consistent offensive performer, would have been the preferred choice, but really any of the recent lottery picks probably would have worked. Provided Edmonton was one of his acceptable destinations, anyway.
There were always rumors. But, with all due respect to Hamonic, a one-for-one deal seemed very unlikely.
Instead, Garth Snow hung on to Hamonic, who had probably his best season as a pro and eventually lifted his trade request when the medical situation that so weighed on him was (fortunately) alleviated.
But now, Hall is on his way to a division rival and at the expense of Adam Larsson, who, generously speaking, isn't Travis Hamonic. Larsson isn't a lot of guys in the NHL either, which is why fans of 28 other teams are beating their heads against a wall knowing that he was what finally pried Hall out of Edmonton and screaming that their GMs should be fired (none more so than in Edmonton and Montreal)
And with free agency coming this week for Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen, Snow looks even worse for not pulling the trigger on Hall earlier and giving John Tavares an honest-to-God running buddy.
After dropping that first bomb, Arthur Staple offered some more insight on the situation.
Already said this earlier this summer, but after all the stuff Hamonic went through, if GS had traded him, team might have staged a coup.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) June 29, 2016
Can certainly debate skill levels of Hall/Hamonic. Wasn't a trade #Isles felt they could make w/ one of the emotional leaders of the team.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) June 29, 2016
I love Travis Hamonic. You probably do, too. He's a very good defenseman on a very team-friendly deal with four more years on it. I get why the Islanders wouldn't want to trade a loyal locker room leader.
But man, it's gonna be hard to not envision this trade having gone down and what the Islanders would have looked like with Hall on the top line. And it's only gonna get harder starting Friday, when the team starts to reshape itself. With Stamkos out of the picture, even he couldn't make things better.
Then I start wondering if the Habs would have taken Johnny Boychuk for Subban...
I need a new hobby.